For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no reason to exist.
Mirra Alfassa or ‘The Mother’ founded the ‘City of Dawn’ in Viluppuram in 1968. Her work within the experimental township has promoted a harmonious lifestyle to all who live there.
UNESCO and The Indian Government have supported this social experiment since the beginning. A patchwork of 659 acres (2.67 sq km) on the outskirts of Pondicherry in South India , this international community continues to grow.
The Auroville township is now home to over 2,000 people from all over the world (43% of them Indian). “I am on the verge of a new perception of life, as if certain parts of the consciousness were mutating from the caterpillar state to the butterfly state…” says Alfassa. The purpose was to realise human unity and it is today recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed experiment that is still ongoing in this field.
Mirra Alfassa, the Mother
Mirra Alfassa (Paris 21.2.1878 – Pondicherry 17.11.73) was born as the second child of an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father, a few months after her parents had settled in France. An extraordinarily gifted child, who became an accomplished painter and musician, she had many inner experiences from early childhood on. In her twenties she studied occultism in Algeria with Max Theon and his English wife Alma, who was a highly developed medium. After her return to Paris, the Mother worked with several different groups of spiritual seekers.
She first heard of Sri Aurobindo from her friend Alexandra David-Neel, who had visited him in Pondicherry in 1912; and in 1914, along with her second husband Paul Richard, she was able to travel to Pondicherry and meet him in person. There, she immediately recognised him as a mentor she had encountered in earlier visions, and knew that her future work was at his side. Although she had to leave India after the outbreak of the First World War, first returning to France, and then accompanying Richard to an official post in Japan, in April 1920 she returned to join Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry and never left again. Sri Aurobindo recognised in her an embodiment of the dynamic expressive aspect of evolutionary, creative Force, in India traditionally known and approached as the ‘Supreme Mother’. Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville.
For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no reason to exist. Both Sri Aurobindo and The Mother worked all their lives for the manifestation of a mode of consciousness beyond mind, which Sri Aurobindo named “Supermind” or “The Supramental”.
Auroville grand design
1. Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole. But to live in Auroville, one must be the willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness.
2. Auroville will be the place of an unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages.
3. Auroville wants to be the bridge between the past and the future. Taking advantage of all discoveries from without and from within, Auroville will boldly spring towards future realisations.
4. Auroville will be a site of material and spiritual researches for a living embodiment of an actual Human Unity. The writings of these visionaries, and the specific guidelines for Auroville given by the Mother are crucial for in-depth understanding of what is trying to be achieved in Auroville, a collective experiment dedicated to human unity and international understanding.
Researchers and students, who come for short duration to learn and contribute to the efforts of development.
Day-workers from neighbouring villages working in Auroville’s economic and service activities.
Short-term, including casual visitors coming to see the experience of Auroville’s work in diverse fields.
The Matrimandir (Sanskrit for Temple of The Mother) is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga, situated at the center of Auroville initiated by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is called soul of the city and is situated in a large open space called Peace.
Matrimandir is the main attraction to visitors from outside and, on an average, 1,000 persons visit it every day. Sundays and holidays are special days when the number of visitors go up to 2,000 persons. Apart from such visitors, students and professionals come to Auroville to learn about its activities, and attend workshops and seminars. Guesthouse facilities are available for the visitors.